Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Shop..  



8500 Beverly Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA. / (310) 854-0070



Remember the 1991 Woody Allen/Bette Midler movie, "Scenes from a Mall" ? That mall was none other than the giant Beverly Center, where they filmed the exterior shots for that comedy. It may not be the largest enclosed shopping mall in L.A., but it is the mall closest to Hollywood, and quite an impressive one at that.

The Beverly Center mall is housed in a mammoth, eight-story behemoth of a building, with wavy, plexiglas tube escalators which snake up its sides.

The shopping mall itself occupies only the upper three stories of the structure (levels 6 through 8); the bottom five floors are taken up by parking areas (except for the ground floor, which formerly housed the nation's first Hard Rock Cafe, and which still contains California Pizza Kitchen, PF Chang's, the Grand Luxe Cafe, and other upscale restaurants.)

You can also catch a glimpse of the mall in the movies "L.A. Story," "Body Double," "Lipstick " and "Ruthless People".

Because of its proximity to Beverly Hills and Hollywood, this mall also gets more than the usual number of celebrity shoppers (along with 13 million regular shoppers each year.)

For instance, Nicolas Cage, Drew Barrymore, "The Boss" Bruce Springsteen, Robin Williams and Arsenio Hall have all been spotted shopping here.  Courtney Cox (of "Friends") was recently seen buying jewelry at a small shop called "Jennifer Kaufman" (on the seventh level, near Macy's). Calista Flockhart ("Ally McBeal") was also spotted jewelry shopping. Jerry Seinfeld was seen looking at shoes in "Steve Maden." "Late Late Show" host Craig Kilborn reports that the first star he ever saw in Hollywood, was David Bowie, who Craig spotted flipping through magazines at a book store in the Beverly Center. Paul McCartney was seen at Macy's.

    

The L.A. Times reports sightings of Phil Collins, Bernadette Peters, Geena Davis, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Esther Williams at the mall, and supermodel Tyra Banks reports that she loves to pig out on ice cream at the Haagen-Dazs here. Pamela Anderson Lee was seen shopping at Bloomingdales (where a clerk who recognized the actress insisted on ID when Pamela tried to cash a check.) Other reports place John Travolta, Brandy, Mark Wahlberg, Kelly Preston, Belinda Carlisle, Matt Damon, Wynona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg, Teri Garr, Leslie Anne Warren and Cher at the mall.

    

In their "Out of Town Visitors" section, the Beverly Center's own website lists these other celebrity visitors to the mall: Anna Nicole Smith, The Backstreet Boys, Ben Affleck, Billy Zane, Bo Derek, Bob Barker, Brad Pitt, Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock, Christina Aguilera,Claudia Schiffer, Courtney Love, Damon Wayans, Danny Bonaduce, Danny Glover, David Schwimmer, David Spade, Donald Sutherland, Drew Barrymore, Drew Carey, Dyan Cannon, Farrah Fawcett, Fred Savage, Gabriel Byrne, Gwen Stefani, Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett-Smith James Woods Jamie Foxx, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Smits, Johnny Mathis, Lawrence Fishburne, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lisa Kudrow, LL Cool J, Madonna, Magic Johnson, Mandy Moore, Marie Osmond, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Lawrence, Mary J. Blige, Matt Dillon, Matthew Perry, Melanie Griffith, Michael Caine, Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael J. Fox, Michael Jordan, Noah Wyle, Paul McCartney, Pee Wee Herman, Queen Latifah, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Hayek , Shaquille O'Neal, Sharon Stone, Sissy Spacek, Stevie Wonder, Tim Allen, Tobey Maguire, Tom Cruise, Vin Diesel, Whoopi Goldberg and Will Smith! Reads like an awards show line-up, doesn't it?

A few years back, the mall opened a new outdoor dining patio, an extention of their existing food court. Besides offering a sunny spot to enjoy lunch, this rooftop patio also offers a good view of the cityscape below (and the Hollywood Sign). The patio addition was part of a major rennovation of the mall in 2000, which includes anchors Macy's and Bloomingdale's. The renovation also replaced the previous white decor with warmer colors.

The Beverly Center attracts 13 million shoppers per year, and one third of those are are domestic and international travelers. So it's not surprising that in 2000, the mall opened the city's first official "California Welcome Center," offering direct ticket purchases to the L.A.'s leading attractions, as well as hotel reservations on the spot, and information about unique California places to visit, dine & shop, via free brochures, interactive displays, and travel counselors.

Restaurants at the Beverly Center include the Grand Lux Cafe, California Pizza Kitchen, & P.F. Chang's. (The Hard Rock Cafe closed in late 2006.)

Update: The Beverly Center is probably the last place you'd expect such a thing to happen... But as proof that nowhere is completely safe all the time in a region the size of Los Angeles, there was a celebrity murder in the mall parking garage, on May 18, 2009.  A young, up & coming rapper named "Dolla" (Roderick Anthony Burton II) was shot & killed near the valet station off La Cienega. It was reported that the alleged shooter may have followed Dolla from his home city of Atlanta, where they had been involved in a fight at an Atlanta strip club frequented by the hip-hop community.

Getting there: The Beverly Center mall is located between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, in a triangle of land formed by Beverly Boulevard (on the north), Third Street (on the south), La Cienega Boulevard (on the east), and San Vicente Boulevard (on the west). / From Hollywood & Vine, take Vine Street south (about half a mile) to Santa Monica Boulevard. Turn right (west) on Santa Monica Boulevard and go west (about three miles) to La Cienega Boulevard. Turn left (south) on La Cienega and go one mile south to Beverly Boulevard and the mall (which will be on your right side).


[For more information, you can access the Beverly Center's official website at http://www.beverlycenter.com.]



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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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